WordPress, empowers 25% of the websites on the internet, which makes it one of the most popular content management systems in the world today. WordPress development skills are on a rise and majority of the clients are selling WP skills to make money. To make sure the site you develop for SEO ensures performance and security, you need to improve its SEO and user experience. If a WordPress site is not set according to the search engine optimization guidelines, you may not get the required traffic from it. Given below are some SEO tips to implement for SEO in order to improve your traffic.
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- Embed Keywords in a Page Name
Search Engines, mainly Google loves seeing the targeted keywords within a page name. Even though, Google’s algorithm has become quite smart in identifying the context of a page, implementing keywords in a natural way still helps it to pick up a page. For instance, to rank for “WordPress SEO tips” on a post, the URL is better written as www.abc.com/wordpress-seo-tips instead of www.abc.com/?12376578980
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Visit ‘Permalinks’ section in the WP platform and change the settings to make URLs keyword friendly if it is a fresh site. Hire a programmer if it is an existing site!
- Using WordPress SEO Plugin
The best thing about WordPress is that it has number of plug-ins available for content optimization. Using a plug-in will make it easy for you to optimize your site according to the required SEO settings. Popular plug-in extension names include: Scribe, WordPress SEO by Yoast, All in One SEO, Inbound Writer, WordPress SEO among others, but you only need to install one.
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There is a separate field specifying ‘focus keywords’ against a post. You need to focus on these keywords to rank for your site. When you write content on a blog, the plug-in will analyze it and notify you for the optimization. It will then highlight the areas that have to be optimized.
- Using Sitemaps
Majority of WordPress sites are missing search engine optimization sitemaps. Sitemaps are absolutely critical to site rankings. You can use the following sitemaps on your WordPress site:
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- XML site map
- Video site map
- Image site map
- Google news sitemap (For a news site)
Installation of sitemaps is extremely simple. You can also install sitemaps through the help of plugins. After a sitemap is complete, you need to submit it directly to the Google Search Console (Google Webmaster Tools) and the Bing Webmaster Tools.
- Using HTML Sitemaps
Search Engines crawl content on a site through hyperlinks. The XML sitemap has all the important links to help search engines in finding all the site pages without having to go through the website internal links. However, creation of an HTML sitemap is still a good idea. You can put these links either in the footer or prominently on a page to help search engines find all the site pages.
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- Content Optimization
A WordPress website consists of multiple pages such as product pages, category pages or any other type of pages. You need to optimize the content of all these pages through what is called dynamic optimization. For example, if there are five categories on a site such as WordPress, Prestashop, Woocommerce, Magento, Squarespace and Wix, you can optimize all these through the same keyword set using dynamic optimization such as “Graphic Design Tips and News.”
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For Title category Graphic Design Tips and News, you can do it as:
<Title> WordPress Graphic Design News and Tips </title>
You can also use the same dynamic optimization on the important elements for SEO including HTML elements such as:
- Image Title
WordPress allows you to optimize all the site pages against the specified keywords according to the SEO principles.
- Top and Recent Content of All Time
After you have series of content on a blog, make sure to publish the best content created in a sidebar. This encourages long time on site in addition to page views. You also need to publish the recent content, for example a timely news catching user attention.
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- Social Share Buttons
A number of ways are available to share buttons on a WordPress site. You can select the ones which you like the most and write the code in a template one by one or use a plug-in especially available for this sort of work. Add to Any is a good plug-in with a clean UX. Add This and Share This are also other good options.
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- Site Speed & Mobile Ready
Website speed is another major factor, which means you need to optimize the speed of your site to make it as fast as possible. You can also make it mobile ready. Google has special Pagespeed and mobile friendly tools available to let you check these. You also need to ensure proper optimization of a mobile version, as all these are important SEO elements.
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- W3 Total Cache
W3 Total Cache is a plug-in used for increasing the speed of a site. However, if you are not sure about using it, this will result in crashing down your site. Use this plug-in only when professional assistance is available to you as things can also go wrong on your own.
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- Site Backups
It is always good to create a backup of your site in case of a server or some other site failure. Make sure to install only the tested and updated plug-ins as not all the plugins are created equally. There are many popular Site backup plugins available which help to create a backup to roll it back to incase of a crash to avoid data loss and website downtime.
- Use a Secure HTTPS
Ever since Google has announced HTTPS as another SEO ranking factor, webmasters are emphasizing on transferring sites to the secure versions/https. This will also make online experience secure for the users. Make sure to implement the security certificate for an existing site or launch it directly as https, if it is a new site.
Muneeza Shahid is a passionate blogger and Full stack designer at Medialinkers who likes to review the latest technology updates. She has been writing on the SEO, graphic design and wordpress topics for the last 4 years. You can follow her on Google+.